As I soaked up a boatload of sunshine while on vacation last week, I felt an enormous sense of gratitude. Gratitude for being able to unplug (I only checked my email during the trip), lounge on the beach, and hang out with my entire family for ten fabulous days. While I didn't do much writing during my trip, I reflected on how grateful I was that I could write. I don't mean having writing ability (the talent to write)--which is always debatable--I mean the actual ability to sit and create something.
What prompted part of my reflection was the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell which I read on the plane. I was captivated by the descriptions of immigrant garment workers in the early 1900's. They often worked a 12-18 hour day hoping to scrape together a few dollars in order to feed their families. Then they started all over again the next day. And the next. And so on.
The week prior to my trip, I actually complained to my husband that I only had an hour or two to write in the evenings (after our kids are asleep). I'm ashamed the complaint crossed my mind, let alone my lips. Even in 2010, there are people working two to three jobs just to make ends meet, put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. The luxury of taking the time to sit and create something--be it art, music, or writing--doesn't exist for a whole lot of people in this world.
I came home from vacation to an empty refrigerator. I promptly went to the store and refilled it, without having to worry about how I would pay for it. I'm grateful and think it's too easy to take things like that for granted. My day is jam-packed today, but does not involve 18 hours of back-breaking work. I'm grateful for that. I have an hour or two of writing time tonight. I'm extremely grateful for that.
I know writing can be a thankless and painfully slow endeavor, but the ability to pursue it is priceless. Are you grateful for your ability to write?